The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013. Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station). Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners. Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.
The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects. Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.
The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor. Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods. The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing. The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary. The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.
Sundance Selects has released the first trailer for directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s controversial documentary After Tiller. In the wake of Dr. George Tiller’s murder, the film chronicles the lives of the only four doctors still currently performing third-trimester abortions. Obviously this is incredibly touchy subject matter, but the film looks to approach the issue from a fairly objective standpoint, delving into the lives and choices of not only the aforementioned doctors, but also the people that are seeking out late-term abortions. It seems like a fascinating and emotional watch, and I’m interested to see what insights are gleaned from the film as a whole.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. After Tiller is now playing in select theaters.
The Sundance Film Festival recently announced the first round of programming, and we have the first images from a few of the movies playing in the U.S. Documentary Competition:
Hit the jump for the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17-27.